Concealed Carry in the Rain and Inclement Weather
Concealed carrying under ideal conditions can be complicated enough, but having to deal with inclement weather conditions - such as concealed carry in the rain - adds further complexity in keeping concealed.
Wet clothing can cling, possibly revealing a pistol in a concealed carry holster under a shirt. Likewise, carrying in the waistband under several layers in inclement weather conditions can make access much more difficult, especially if one is wearing gloves. Accounting for these things, and ensuring that concealed pistol stays concealed, can be done.
Concealed Carry Clothing And Rain
In an ideal world, one's concealed carry clothing will never do anything less than a perfect job keeping your gun concealed. Rain would never fall, wind would never blow and temperatures would never dip below what only required a moderate jacket.
However, a little rain has to fall eventually. In some areas, it's constant. This can create some issues for concealed carriers.
In temperate areas with generous precipitation, one merely needs to wear a light rain jacket or other light outerwear and the matter is settled, but what about warm weather? Plenty of the hotter areas of the U.S. get plenty of rainfall but are far too hot to wear outerwear during the summer months.
Many experienced carriers may have experienced this scenario - while concealing under a t shirt, rain begins to fall, soaking the shirt. It clings to the wearer, causing an imprint. A person's concealed carry gun could also get wet, which could cause rust to form if left untreated.
Furthermore, a wet gun may be less easily handled when wet. The grip and slide may become practically unusable, rendering the gun next to useless.
Drying a Wet Gun
Again, temperate climates make the solution very simple to keep your CCW dry - you simply put on a piece of light outerwear and you don't have to worry about rain. Waterproof fabrics are widespread and cheap, and they can easily cover an OWB or IWB holster that's being worn about the waist.
In warmer areas, it just isn't feasible to wear a jacket year 'round. Even adding the lightest of jackets can be uncomfortably warm, and a person who never goes without outerwear can eventually be a dead giveaway. How do you keep yourself from getting a gun wet in this situation?
One solution is to wear a button-up shirt over an undershirt, but unbuttoned. This will keep IWB and high-riding OWB holsters from printing - even if soaked - and many are available in warm-weather fabrics. One could even opt for one of those old-school Hawaiian print shirts.
If a person had sufficient pocket space, say while wearing cargo pants or shorts, a stuffable jacket is a good solution for taking outerwear without wearing it. Stuffable jackets are very popular with backpackers; many stuff into a bag that comes with the jacket or one of the jacket's pockets. These range in weight from mere rain jackets to down fills for cold weather. Many such garments stuff down to considerably small sizes. A person could easily carry one in a cargo pocket. Deploy once the rain starts and stay concealed and dry.
Concealed Carrying In High Wind and Other Weather
Carrying in wind can likewise be an issue. Many concealed carriers will carry with an opened jacket or unbuttoned shirt over an undershirt, covering the pistol. If carrying in the 3 o'clock position, a sharp gust can reveal the pistol.
There are a number of solutions for this predicament. Some dedicated concealed carry clothing merchants sell shirts with a loop on the inside of the garment - these attach the belt and keep from being blown around with wind. Likewise, a person could improvise a solution, such as sewing fishing weights into the bottom of a garment or improvising a similar tie to the beltline - clear fishing line, for instance.
Others prefer to partially button a shirt or zip up a jacket, so the garment remains in place, concealment is maintained and access is not impeded. Carrying at or near the small of the back, though, would potentially remain concealed in a gust.
In climates disposed to snow, wearing an unbuttoned jacket becomes problematic, as concealed carry in cold weather presents the challenge of wearing additional layers. Ankle carry in large winter boots will certainly be less feasible if not impossible, and IWB carriers will have additional clothing to deal with to access their pistol, should the need arise. All of this can be counteracted by simply practicing clearing your clothes when your draw.
About The Author
Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests include camping, hunting, concealed carry, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible..